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Showing posts from February 3, 2013

Rights or Privileges?

Rights. Sounds very patriotic doesn't it? Some Americans are very much into defending their rights. Right now there is a raging debate in this country over whether people have a right to own and carry weapons or not. I'm not going to weigh in on that subject, other than to say that I see faulty reasoning on both sides of the arguments.
Yesterday I listened to a group study where the teacher strongly questioned whether there even is such a thing as rights. He contended that he could not see how we had any rights, only privileges. Obviously he has not spent much time in the debate about the difference between rights and privileges. But it did force people to begin thinking about this, myself included. This man felt that possibly all we have are privileges granted to us by authorities, but possibly no rights.
Something about his assertion didn't sit well with me. Not because I am a rabid patriot, though I am quite familiar with that movement and have much sympathy for some o…

Was Jesus a Carpenter?

Contrary to widespread public opinion, Jesus was very possibly not a carpenter.
Why do I think that? For at least a couple of reasons that I find compelling.
First, I have been told that the word translated 'carpenter' actually would better be translated as a builder. Yes, Strong's concordance says it means a craftsman in wood, but Strong's is not always totally reliable in every detail as many experts will assure us. One reason to doubt the emphasis on wood inherent in carpentry is that buildings in those days were seldom made out of wood like we are used to seeing in other parts of the world. Wood was not that common of a commodity while stone was far more accessible and useful for buildings. Thus, while Jesus and his father may have had some experience with wood, it is more likely that they may have been stone masons helping to erect buildings and houses of stone which is still a very common building method in Israel today, though now it is more likely to involve c…